Britain’s £100bn mental health crisis
Experts demand radical policy rethink, to focus on illness prevention rather than expensive and ineffective treatments
By Nina Lakhani
Sunday, 3 October 2010
Mental illness in England cost the nation more than £100bn last year, highlighting some of the most serious emotional and psychological problems in Europe. More than £21bn was spent on such health treatments as antidepressants and social care such as befriending services, an increase of 75 per cent since 2003.
Experts warned that the figure is likely to rise as government cuts to public services start to have an impact. The statistics, released today by the Centre for Mental Health, show mental health-related sick leave and unemployment cost the economy more than £30bn. The true impact is likely to be much higher, as the costs of underperformance and poor productivity are not included.